Hearing set in pizza delivery accident case, defendants file response to counterclaims

Amelia Flood Jan. 31, 2011, 5:27am

Two of the defendants in a complicated personal injury suit stemming from a pizza delivery call have filed their response to three other defendants' counterclaim, days before the suit is set for hearing.

Defendants Jason Yelton and Jeremiah Greene filed the response to the counterclaims filed by co-defendants Lisa and Kenneth Lyerla and Leonard Cummings Jr. Jan. 28.

All five are named in a suit brought by plaintiff Matthew Bruntjen last year.

Madison County Circuit Judge Andreas Matoesian is set to hear a motion filed by another defendant, Imo's Franchising Inc. that asks him to dismiss the counts of Bruntjen's suit against the company Friday at 9 a.m.

The suit comes out of an accident that happened in August 2009.

Kenneth Lyerla was a pizza delivery boy working for Bethalto Pizza L.L.C., an Imo's Franchise.

He drove a car owned by his mother, Lisa Lyerla, that Cummings Jr. insured.

Bruntjen was a passenger in a van driven by Greene.

Yelton owned the van.

Metro East Distributing Company, also named as a defendant in the suit, employed Yelton.

According to the complaint, Kenneth Lyerla was not driving safely and was trying to deliver his pizzas in a timely fashion when his car collided with the van.

Bruntjen was injured.

The various companies are named in the suit as their co-defendants' employers and, in the case of Kenneth Lyerla, for allegedly stressing the pizza delivery's timing over safe driving.

The suit seeks damages in excess of $50,000 a count and other relief.

The defendants have a number of counterclaims pending against one
another in the case.

In the Jan. 28 response, Greene and Yelton deny claims that Greene was distracted by his phone just prior to the accident and that Yelton didn't properly secure cargo in the van.

Bruntjen is represented by Charles Armbruster.

Stephen Mudge represents the Lyerlas and Cummings Jr.

James Craney and others represent the pizza company defendants.

John Wendler represents Yelton and Metro East Distributing.

Greene is represented by Beth Boggs.

The case is Madison case number 10-L-577.

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